Entertainment trends taking Kenya by a storm

Features
By Boniface Mithika | 4 months ago
Podcasts are becoming mainstream.

TikTok altered the portrayal of the music industry and rewrote entertainment rules. Everyone jumped onto the app that became the most downloaded in 2021.

Stars were born, and music reached greater heights due to the same. Azziad Nasenya is the ultimate TikTok product from Kenya. Her rising star saw her get a nomination for the African Social Star category of America’s E! People’s Choice Awards, 2021. 

The past two years have been a rollercoaster. One thing that kept us going was entertainment. From virtual concerts and amazing content creation to video gaming, everyone had their own way to escape from their daily hassles and unwind.

For many, staying indoors and streaming their latest music, movies or even gaming became the new normal. This set the precedence on how entertainment was being consumed. Entertainment dynamics have evolved, with Gen Z appreciating their ‘virtual families’ more than their actual families.

Subscription video on demand (SVOD)

Covid-19 came with more demand for home entertainment. Before then, streaming video providers were competing for subscribers against many entertainment options. When subscription video on demand (SVOD) started it was seen as the future of TV shows and films.

In 2021, local filmmakers and showrunners increasingly preferred to have their films on streaming platforms. Employing a localisation strategy, Showmax now shows a host of different genres of Kenyan TV shows for all ages.

Netflix has also hosted quite a number of African shows and films. The Kenyan originals; Poacher, Sincerely, Daisy, Disconnect and 40 Sticks all premiered on the platform.

This is one trend that is becoming popular and will be here for a while. 

Diversification of streaming services

The music industry is growing fast as every day we experience new content, new sounds and artistes. Gone are the days when creatives solely depended on record labels to push their music and book shows.

With the age of the Internet, services like Sportify, Apple music and Boomplay are not only popular and affordable, but are changing how we listen to music.

Although there has been bad press about streaming, the services have made it easier for consumers to listen to songs, help smaller creators get discovered and eliminate the need, if not the act, of music piracy.

Embracing Blockchain technology

Not only have technological changes influenced the way content is produced and consumed, they have also impacted how consumers pay for this content. 

For a long time, creatives got the short end of the stick when it came to royalty payment. But Blockchain technology could remedy the situation.  This technology removes the intermediaries between audiences and creators, and some artistes have already jumped onto the wagon. 

In the gaming industry, gamers can now use their rewards and items across different crypto gaming platforms. Players can use fiat currency to buy in-game money, while the play-to-earn model allows players to make profits from their investments through crypto gaming coins.

Other creatives are embracing non-fungible tokens (NFT). NFTs have opened previously unimaginable possibilities for many artistes, allowing creatives to create or ‘mint’ unique artworks and reach a global collector base at the click of a button.

Podcasts becoming mainstream

Podcasts started as an independent way for individuals to get their message out and build a community of people with similar interests. Today, the audience is massive.

In addition to providing content, podcasts also provide issue communities for listeners. Many of the larger podcasts have fan bases that organise meet-ups, create merchandise and foster friendships through social media channels.

This is now the way to go for audio enthusiasts. It stimulates thought and discussion in a way many other entertainment outlets cannot.

Virtual Reality (VR)

Entertainment is the most enthusiastic industry when it comes to virtual reality.

VR has been in the pipeline for a while now, and it is looking like 2022 may be the first year where it makes its big debut to the world to show what it is truly capable of. It would not be a surprise if VR became the new best way to experience all forms of entertainment.

The future of VR is certainly looking bright.

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